Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis placed a distant second Monday in the Iowa Republican caucuses, edging out former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Focusing most of his campaign on the Hawkeye State, DeSantis finished far behind former President Donald Trump, who received 51% of the vote while DeSantis finished with 21%, two percentage points ahead of Haley.
After the caucus concluded, DeSantis spoke to supporters at the Sheraton hotel in West Des Moines, urging them to remain positive.
“We represent the chance to reverse the madness that we’ve seen in this country,” DeSantis said. “We represent the chance to reverse the decline of this country and give this country a new birth of freedom and restoration of sanity. That’s what we are going to do!”
DeSantis spent tens of millions of dollars in Iowa, moving most of his campaign infrastructure there. Visiting all 99 counties in the state, the Florida governor secured an endorsement from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
In an interview with Fox News, Reynolds explained why she is confident with DeSantis in Iowa.
“Look at his record, he is the one true conservative in this race,” Reynolds said. “He has the record to back it up. I got to know him during COVID, and he stood, kept the economy, and kept the kids in school.”
Myriah Fox, a fourth-year political science student at Florida A&M who serves as president of the FAMU College Democrats, shared her thoughts on DeSantis running for president.
“DeSantis running for president as a Republican might be frightening,” Fox said. “In light of the negative effects his policies have had on Black and Brown communities, I am terrified of what other policies he will introduce if he becomes president.”
When asked how she felt about the presidential election this year, Fox did not hold back.
“I think it will be intriguing to watch this year’s presidential election play out,” Fox said. “I believe we all need to work together to genuinely encourage people to cast ballots. It will be entirely up to us to achieve the desired turnout, and the only way we can do so is by using our right to vote.”
Moving forward, DeSantis will travel to South Carolina where he will challenge Haley in her home state — not to mention Trump. The two will then move on to the Hampshire primary on Jan. 23, where they will face their biggest opponent, Trump.